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Under a Rock No More: 5 Selfish Reasons To Budget

December 6, 2016

The rock relates, I promise. Read on!

As some of you know, I bring up budgeting a lot. It comes up in the most ordinary of conversations and because I do love it so much it just sneaks right out. I’m not even trying to find ways to bring the conversation around to budgeting…it just happens. People that I tell about budgeting often respond with [insert sigh and/or change in countenance] “I should try that” or “I tried that before and it didn’t work” or “I need to do that again”. Shoulders slump, faces lose confidence and they say the above in the same tone of voice as they might say “yeah… (sigh)… I really do need to get that root canal I’ve been putting off” (do people even put off root canals? I don’t know, I’ve never had one and may have just jinxed myself. Knock on faux wood…). Basically, it’s associated with the tone of voice that we all use for the things we SUPER don’t want to do because they seem hard or boring or like they’ll ruin our life.

Anyway, as I was saying: most often a mention of budgeting is met with that serious air of resignation and adulting. And I get it (as in, I understand it) because before YNAB and my budgeting success I wanted to crawl under a rock every time people (especially guys I was on dates with) would mention things like personal finance, retirement accounts and money in savings. I felt defeated and didn’t want to deal with reality (thinking erroneously that it would be scarier to know) and sadly didn’t know how much better it would feel on this side of things. (Reminder, I am still not debt free so let that console you if you’re feeling hopeless – people like us CAN DO THIS!) Getting a handle (finally) on your money is like having a ginormous sliver and you’re used to having it and the accompanying dull ache so you keep it, not knowing how much better you are going to feel after it’s out.

On that note, here are some of the awesome things I’ve discovered since I decided to pull the sliver (turning a blind eye toward my real money matters) out and reasons why you WILL like budgeting/managing your money if you’ll ditch the root-canal-resignation:) The whole purpose for this blog is to help change the FEELINGS that people like us have about managing money. SO here are some reasons to start whistling a happier tune about budgeting.

1. You’ll feel a healthy sense of control. There are lots of unhealthy ways to get control in life, but this is a productive, positive way.

2. Your finances will improve. That may sound so obvious but if it were, people like us would’ve started managing our money a long time ago:) Anyway, most things we approach with intention can’t help but improve and money is no exception. Also, you’ll be surprised at unexpected financial boons that just “happen” to come to you – it’s like there are unseen cheerleaders waiting for you to get even the tiniest financial momentum and help you on your way.

3. You get to have more guilt-free fun with your money. Once I started budgeting I was able to save more (put it toward debt-payoff), eat out more, go on more fun trips, all guilt-free because I knew what I was doing with my money.

4. Your dreams start to feel possible. Your dream house, trips you’ve wanted to take, land in Montana, lessons you’ve not been able to afford before… these are now do-able, some right away, others in the future but either way they become very tangible.

5. You get to live true to YOUR values instead of the ploys of marketers and the Jones. This just feels right, as if it’s how we were meant to live…:)

[I will here insert a caveat that I’ve made before and I’m sure I’ll make again and again: it is truly no fun budgeting when you don’t have much money. I’ve been there and living that way is no bueno. I’m here to help you and encourage you and get you to believe that you can win, again. Or for the first time. Either way, I want you to feel like you’re winning because it feels so good. Quick reminder: your options to give yourself some more wiggle room is to 1) get more monies or 2) cut back expenses so it’s like you got more monies. ]

In summary, budgeting is selfishly one of the best, most liberating things you can do. Most things we tell ourselves we SHOULD do, we end up resenting. So the sure way to sign yourself up for failure is to go into it (exercise, church, service, budgeting…see how I sneaked that right in there? Subtle…anyway…) with a SHOULDY mentality. Not only will you not succeed but you’ll be miserable all along the way. It’s like a perfect lose-lose.  But if you change that and approach it with optimism and just START doing it, not just the finger or extremity with the sliver (see above analogy) but ALL of you will start to feel better. Getting the sliver out (aka budgeting) changes way more than your financial life. People. I mean it! See above list one more time if you need:)

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NINE. I used nine parenthetical asides in this single post. The teacher in one of L.M. Montgomery’s series (Emily of New Moon) would probably be appalled. And I just made the number of matched paranthesis an even 10. Sheesh.